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Oprah: A great stand-in mom

Updated on April 11, 2009
Oprah opened school for girls in Johannesbug
Oprah opened school for girls in Johannesbug

Oprah Winfrey gives because she feels.

Just because a woman has given birth to a child does not makes her fit to be a mother. To be a mother incorporates the ability to care for the child. Meaning, the mother must be able to nourish, educate, clothe and shelter her child. A woman, who is worthy to be a mother, understands that her child is her first priority and by that conducts herself in a manner that shows discipline in that respect.

There are many women who have claimed to be a mother because they have given birth to a child and yet they don’t understand the significance of the letter “M” in motherhood. Those women belong in the category of other-hood but not motherhood. They are careless, useless, senseless and more importantly dangerous. They use pregnancy as a mean to acquire wealth, and think the more children they have, the more help they’ll receive from the government. They make welfare, which stands for support for the disadvantage, seems advantageous and I'm not referring to any particular race. This is a reference to all uncaring mothers who takes a passive attitude towards motherhood.

A woman who shows empathy and love, and cares for a child gives that child something to hold on to. And that something is “great memories.” Memories are what a child lives for; it’s the exact thing that can break or make a child. You have heard the president talk about memories. He has written a book dedicated to the memory of his father. The memory that he and his father shared were important to him. His father was the role model in his life — the person that he looks up to. As children, we all need that role model in our lives.

What Oprah has done in Africa is not for fame. Oprah understands what it like is to be hungry and have no one to look up to. I will not attempt to elaborate on why Oprah has no children for it’s a personal matter that should only be address to her. However, I personally think that it’s illogical for one to think that Oprah fears that she could not meet her own standards because of her work and high profile. If a mother with a regular job can hire a nanny to look after her child while she’s at work, I honestly don’t see how Oprah’s job would have interfered with her being a mother. Since she has enough money to hire more than enough nannies, how could her high profile be interfere with her ability to mother?

Oprah Winfrey has founded a new all-girl leadership academy in South Africa which cost $40 million to construct. It is what one does with the money he/she possesses that makes a difference. You and I can sit here debating whether or not she did it for fame, but that means nothing until we’re in the position to do the same. We should not assume that the only reason why a person gives is because she has a lot. If that were true, those who have so little wouldn’t give at all.

Oprah gives because she cares. She gives because she understands. She gives because she wants to make a difference. On a TV interview showed around the same time as the completion of the all-girl academy school, Oprah said "I wanted to give this opportunity to girls who had a light so bright that not even poverty could dim that light." Oprah declared that it was "the proudest, gravest day of my life." At some point in life, giving becomes a healing process that encourages one to give for the benefit of fulfillment. And Oprah accomplished her dream by building this all-girl school she promised to Nelson Mandela, an accomplishment that brought her happiness and peace.

Any woman who has made a difference in the world by creating opportunities for the young ones to prosper has done more for society than becoming a good mother. That woman has created a platform for love to grow. And what Oprah has done in Africa is just that: she has given love to those who needed it the most.

What is love? For one, love has been misinterpreted, misused and miscalculated for hundreds of years. I like the definition of love by Doctor Scott Peck in his book “The Road Less Traveled” where he states, “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” To me love is a sentiment of joy. When I think of the statement “love deprivation,” the picture of children who are raised by uncaring parents comes to mind.

The child needs food for the body, but most important of all he needs love. Love is that which tells the child that he is valuable, that he is a person of worth. If only parents could realize that the baby, the child, as it grows, hungers for that vital food of love. He doesn’t know how to ask for it. He only knows that there is an emptiness within him, which needs to be filled.

What Oprah has done in Africa is fulfilling that hunger the child has for that vital food of love.



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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hi Lindsay and Amy,I really hope you reply even thugoh it has been 2 years since you\’ve posted on here… I\’m so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day… I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of… My \”friends\” went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I\’ve tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be \”ok\” one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can\’t you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache… It\’s become a way of life and althugoh I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I\’m sorry those did not help you either… NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can\’t work as much, I can\’t run around and just be free, I can\’t take a full load of classes at a time… Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I\’m not the only one to suffer from this and that I\’m not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day…Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

    • Coolbreezing profile imageAUTHOR

      James Dubreze 

      9 years ago from New York, New York

      Well, I would argue differ.  I think you would be right in some circumstances but to say as a whole,  that the country gives absolutely no support to pregnant women is an over statement. The truth is some women do get maternity benefits.  I think in this case we would have to look at the work place.  Work ethics and values can vary among companies. Where one company can provide to its employees maternity benefits, another company may not be able to do the same.  In addition, there are other programs such as shot term disability plan that the pregnant women can invest in for future economic support. And you also have wick which gives support to unprivileged pregnant women. So in a way the country do gives support, it may not be the best but we can’t say things like “America is the only industrialized country that gives women no support”.  What makes this statement wrong is the fact you said “no support”.  If we have things like wick then “no support” is an incorrect word to use.


      As far as women working for less than man, they are some truth to that but that’s changing.  Come to think of it, most women make more money than me.  I agree with you that there far too much women in this country raising children on their own. My mother for example is one woman who has managed to raise three boys on her own. I think that’s a cultural issue, it varies from states to states.  In places where the population is in great quantity, the quality of life diminishes because as human beings we are not supposed to be on top of each other as we are in some states.  We need space to breath, trees, fresh air, the sound of birds singing creates a harmony that makes people want to stay together. In this country, some people do have extended family that helps each other out. It’s just that some of us are not that fortunate.

      I agree fatherhood is also a problem in some part of this country.  I believed that a good father should not be measured by how much one has to give.  Honestly, you can have all the money in the world and still be a horrible father. A good father must get involve and make his present count. He must change the dippers, feed; bathe, cloth, read, baby seat and most importantly love his child. That’s the idea of a good father, money can’t beat that.

      Our current president is a good example for a good father. With the world problem in his mind, he still fined time to be with her family on a regular basis, I say bravo to that.

      Oprah not being married could be for many reasons but however, a woman does not necessarily must be married to be a good mother. Nor should a man be married to be a good father.  As of now, I only have one daughter but I hope to have at least one more, hopefully when my economic situation changes, as George W. Bush said "it’s the mother in me".


    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Love Oprah.

      But bear in mind that America is the only industrialized country that gives women no support, no maternity benefits, no quality of food, no village, etc. Motherhood is an afterthought. And labor is the few hours before actual birth - not the pregnancy, and not the years after.

      Somehow American moms are supposed to work full time outside of the home for less income than males - and still raise children - who are a full time job.

      in so-called developing countries, or 3rd world - women have the benefit of the extended family, and the village. American women do not have this either. We are on our own.

      When I taught in S. Korea, If I was to become pregnant, I would receive a paid 3 month maternity leave - and S. Korea is not my home. America does not do this. We are relegated to hoping a father will do the right thing - but too often he does not, or a life of poverty. And then we are condemned for it.

      Oprah can do what she does because she made the decision as an American woman not only to not marry - but to NOT have children.


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